Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 143 - May 2012


The Gurteen Knowledge Letter is a monthly newsletter that is distributed to members of the Gurteen Knowledge Community. You may receive the Knowledge Letter by joining the community. Membership is totally free. You may read back-copies here.

Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 143 - May 2012


  1 Introduction to the May 2012 Knowledge Letter
  2 Is innovation bad for us?
  3 We are not human resources or human capital. We are human beings.
  4 We sacrifice conversation for mere connection. Or do we?
  5 Measure less, care more
  6 Video: A Gurteen Knowledge Cafe in Singapore, Feb 2012
  7 Leading Issues in Social Knowledge Management
  8 Upcoming Knowledge Events: May 2012
  9 Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: May 2012
10 Subscribing and Unsubscribing
11 The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the May 2012 Knowledge Letter    (top | next | prev)

I'd like to start this month's knowledge letter by reminding you of some of the services I provide to my community.

First, you may subscribe to a number of RSS feeds

And second you may subscribe to a number of e-mail based services

Quote of the Day
Receive a quotation by e-mail on a day of the week of your choosing

Job Alerts
Receive e-mail alerts for jobs in your region

Event Alerts
Receive e-mail alerts for new conferences & workshops in your region

Book Alerts
Receive e-mail alerts for recently published books

I hope you find these services useful.

Is innovation bad for us?    (top | next | prev)

I met with Karl-Erik Sveiby for a few beers while I was in Helsinki recently and was delighted to hear that he has just published a new book Challenging the Innovation Paradigm

At one point early in our conversation, I agreed with Karl-Erik that it was mainly innovation that had got the world into the mess its in today. To which he replied "Well if innovation got us into this mess what makes us think that more innovation will get us out of it?" An interesting point. Sounds like a potential great knowledge cafe conversation.

The problem with innovation is that there are often long term unintended and unforeseen consequences of that innovation. I am sure, for example, that the early technological pioneers of the industrial revolution did not think for one moment about the possibility of global warming.

You might also be interested in this paper of Karl-Erik's Unintended and Undesirable Consequences of Innovation

What is really interesting is what inspired Karl-Erik to think about this in the first place. It was his research into Aboriginal culture when he lived in Australia that resulted in an earlier book of his Travelling Lightly. He learnt that the Australian Aborigines knew very well the risks and advantages of innovation and that there was a darker side - the environmental and society; consequences of new products. Partly as a result of this awareness and taking responsibility for their community and those of other their civilisation lasted 40,000 years or more.

Here are some articles by Karl-Erik inspired by Aboriginal thought and also a video playlist I have created on his work on innovation.

We are not human resources or human capital. We are human beings.    (top | next | prev)

I think you know how much I dislike the term "human Resources" - its only marginally better than that awful term "human capital". I have written about it before.

I do hope you realise that it was Catbert, Dilbert's evil feline Human Resources director, who invented the term human capital back in 2002 :-)

Henry Mintzberg sums it up very nicely in this article The Problem Is Enterprise.

An enterprise is a community of human beings, not a collection of "human resources".

We sacrifice conversation for mere connection. Or do we?    (top | next | prev)

If you are interested in the impact of the Internet and social media such as Facebook on interpersonal relationships and conversation then take a look at this article Friends Without a Personal Touch or this one The Flight From Conversation by Sherry Turkle.

And then this response by Dave Cormier Sherry Turkle -- the flight from conversation ... a response

I am more in the Dave Cormier camp than that of Sheryl Turkle even though she is a Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Her observations just do not stack up with my own. For example, she says:

Self-reflection in conversation requires trust. It's hard to do anything with 3,000 Facebook friends except connect.

This in my experience is simply not true. How does the number of "friends" I have on Facebook (2,151 at the last count - yes I know many of them are not friends in the true sense - they are just connections - but that's not a problem) have any affect on the much smaller number of close friends that I have, that I do trust and can and do have real conversations with? It doesn't. In fact many of those friends I first met through the web.

Maybe some people do confuse mere connections with friends but I know many people who don't and who can enjoy and make the most of both type of relationships: close friends and loosely connected "friends".

Video: Sherry Turkle - Connected but alone?

Measure less, care more    (top | next | prev)

In this post on Avoiding false metrics, Seth Godin gets at the heart of one of the problems with measures.

I have a quote on my website that says:

When a measure becomes an objective it stops being a good measure.

But its far worse than this, as typified in Seth's example of someone cheating on a work-out by making the measure look good but avoiding doing the real exercise required to get fit.

It's a major problem and one that I am increasingly hearing about in the educational system. Students want the grade or the exam certificate (the metric) and will lie, cheat, plagiarise and even pay people to write their dissertations for them to obtain the metric.

The measure has replaced the objective of a good education. The goal has become achieving the metric at any cost.

What is as bad, are teachers and others in the educational system who also cheat to make their targets and are thus complicit with the students in totally undermining the worth and credibility of an exam result.

Interestingly, Seth has a large part of the answer in another blog post care more.

Its not about meeting the metric. Its about caring about what you are doing.

Video: A Gurteen Knowledge Cafe in Singapore, Feb 2012    (top | next | prev)

Earlier this year in February 2012, I ran an open Knowledge Cafe in Singapore.

The KCafe was very kindly hosted by William Chua, CEO of eLC, a training and learning organization in Singapore at the Brewerkz Riverside Point alongside the Singapore River.

This was not the first time I have held a knowledge cafe in a pub/bar though it was a first for Singapore. William and his staff did an excellent job organising the event with free food and beer to help along the conversation. A big thanks to you all.

eLC videod the evening and I have uploaded it to the web as a Youtube playlist of five short videos.

If you have ever run knowledge cafes yourself or plan to run them then watch the start of the fourth video where I ask for someone to start the conversation. It takes 1 minute 15 seconds or so before someone takes the mike.

Believe me, standing at the front, that seemed more like for ever! And although I encourage people to start the conversation, I did not start it myself. I never have and I never will. If I am patient and wait long enough someone will always start.

Note also how the conversation got off to a slow start but once people get engaged and realise there is nothing to fear, the conversation gathers pace.

Also keep in mind, that a knowledge cafe works best with a smaller number of people where microphones are not needed and a circle can be formed at the end for the whole group conversation. In this situation, I encourage people to talk more to each other rather than report back to me or ask questions of me.

Leading Issues in Social Knowledge Management    (top | next | prev)

I am delighted that I'm the editor of a new book "Leading Issues in Social Knowledge Management" that has just been published by Academic Publishing International.

The book is a collection of ten academic papers that I have carefully selected to create the volume and I have also written a short editorial comment on each paper.

So I did the relatively easy bit, all the hard work was done by the contributors in this important emerging field. There are 19 contributors so a few too many to mention.

You will find more details of the book here.

I have agreed with the publishers that members of my community may obtain GBP5.00 off the price of the book by entering "Gurteen5" in the discount code field when you place your order.

Upcoming Knowledge Events: May 2012    (top | next | prev)

This section highlights some of the major KM events taking place around the world in the coming months and ones in which I am actively involved. You will find a full list on my website where you can also subscribe to both regional e-mail alerts and RSS feeds which will keep you informed of new and upcoming events.

The Knowledge Café Workshop
04 Jun 2012, Kuwait City, Kuwait
I will be running this Knowledge Cafe workshop in Kuwait in June.

KM UK 2012
13 - 14 Jun 2012, London, United Kingdom
I will be at KM UK again this year.

KMICe 2012 : 6th Knowledge Management International Conference 2012
04 - 06 Jul 2012, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

KM Brasil 2012
22 - 24 Aug 2012, Sao Paulo, Brasil

The 8th International Conference on Knowledge Management (ICKM 2012)
04 - 06 Sep 2012, Johannesburg, South Africa
I plan to be participating in this conference.

KMWorld 2012
16 - 19 Oct 2012, Washington DC, United States

KM LatinAmerican 2012
22 - 26 Oct 2012, Buenos Aires, Argentina

KM Asia 2012
06 - 08 Nov 2012, Singapore City, Singapore
I will be chairing KM Asia this year with Karuna Ramanathan. I will also be giving a talk and running a Knowledge Cafe.

Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: May 2012    (top | next | prev)

Here are what I consider some of my more interesting Tweets for April 2012 - May 2012. Take a look, if you are not a Tweeter, you will get a good idea of how I use it by browsing the list of micro-posts.

If you like the Tweets then subscribe to my Tweet stream.

Subscribing and Unsubscribing    (top | next | prev)

You may subscribe to this newsletter on my website. Or if you no longer wish to receive this newsletter or if you wish to modify your e-mail address or make other changes to your membership profile then please go to this page on my website.

The Gurteen Knowledge Letter    (top | next | prev)

The Gurteen Knowledge-Letter is a free monthly e-mail based KM newsletter for knowledge workers. Its purpose is to help you better manage your knowledge and to stimulate thought and interest in such subjects as Knowledge Management, Learning, Creativity and the effective use of Internet technology. Archive copies are held on-line where you can register to receive the newsletter.

It is sponsored by the Knowledge Management Forum of the Henley Business School, Oxfordshire, England.

You may copy, reprint or forward all or part of this newsletter to friends, colleagues or customers, so long as any use is not for resale or profit and I am attributed. And if you have any queries please contact me.

Gurteen Knowledge
Fleet, United Kingdom

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

Follow me on Twitter

How to contact me

My Blog

Gurteen Knowledge Community
The Gurteen Knowledge Community
The Gurteen Knowledge Community is a global learning community of over 21,000 people in 160 countries across the world.

The community is for people who are committed to making a difference: people who wish to share and learn from each other and who strive to see the world differently, think differently and act differently.

Membership of the Gurteen Knowledge Community is free.
Knowledge Community


request help
visitor book
Friday 12 July 2024
10:02 PM GDT